Leading a healthy lifestyle does not mean making big, sweeping changes overnight. Sometimes, a few small changes can give you the results you’re looking for. Here are 4 simple ways to improve your overall health and wellbeing.
Drink more water!
We hear it said repeatedly, but it is important to drink water. The human body is made up of ninety percent water and uses water for almost every function. Water keeps our joints lubricated and prevents headaches due to dehydration, among a multitude of other functions.
Researchers studied individuals who drink more water and found that they consume fewer sweetened drinks. They ended up consuming fewer total calories and less sugar, salt, saturated fat, and cholesterol. This same study found that increasing water consumption by one to three cups per day could decrease calorie intake by 68 to 205 calories. Over time, this small change can have lasting impacts, and it can aide in significant weight loss when done jointly with a healthy diet.
Go for a brisk walk.
We all recognize the importance of staying active, but sometimes we need a reminder to get moving. Go on a brisk walk every day, and it will help you lead a healthier life. Regular walks can help you:
- Boost your heart health
- Prevent or manage conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Strengthen your bones and muscles
- Improve your mood
The faster, farther and more frequently you walk, the greater the benefits.
Eat more fruits and vegetables.
If you don’t already consume fruits and vegetables on a regular basis, aim for 2 or 3 servings of fruit and 2 to 3 of vegetables. Remember to incorporate the entire rainbow by eating a variety of brilliantly-colored fruits and vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, kale, strawberries, and pineapples.
Benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables include:
- Reduced risk for heart disease, including heart attack and stroke
- Protection against certain types of cancers
- Lowered calorie intake
To start off, incorporate a salad or smoothie daily for a vitamin-packed boost of energy.
Manage stress levels.
Stress is a part of life, but chronic stress can have a slew of negative implications. The way you react to and handle stress can greatly affect your mental and physical health. Try these one-minute strategies to reduce your stress levels!
- Tension Release. Tense your muscles for 5 to 10 seconds, and enjoy the relaxation upon release. Start by curling your toes and work your way up, one area at a time, ending by squeezing your eyelids.
- Deep Breathing. Take a deep breath, filling your chest and abdomen with air. Hold it for 3 seconds, and then let your breath out completely. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
- 4-7-8 Breathing. Inhale through the nose for a count of four, hold your breath for seven, and then exhale for eight seconds. Repeat this cycle 4 times; do it 1 or 2 times per day.
These simple remedies are proven and can help you lead a healthier, more active life. Encourage family and friends to try them with you, too!
NurseRegistry offers wellness checks to individuals at home. If you or a loved one could benefit from a licensed nurse checking in on you weekly, visit NurseRegistry.com/wellness-checks to learn more.
Cook, Michelle, “16 Simple Ways to Improve Your Health Today,” Care2, June 3, 2013
Marshall, Mallika, “The big benefits of plain water,” Harvard Health Publications, May 26, 2016.
“One-Minute Stress Strategies,” University of Michigan University Health Service, 2017
“Walking: Trim your waistline, improve your health,” Mayo Clinic, March 19, 2016.
“Why is it important to eat vegetables,” Choosemyplate.gov, 2017.